LaVerne and Abercrombie, longtime musical collaborators and friends, first met in 1968 in Boston while both were students at the Berklee College, and got their inspiration from Bill Evans and Jim Hall. Well schooled in the theory of jazz, both have been playing, teaching, and giving Masterclasses for students and audiences in Colleges and Universities worldwide for many years.
A challenging and rewarding learning experience for all proficient Jazz pianists who want to broaden their vocabulary and improvise more creatively, based around six stunning standards. Andy LaVerne illuminates the chord changes, voicings, embellishments and improvisational ideas that make the standards come to life. You'll begin by learning the basic changes, before moving into more complex renditions, demonstrated at half-speed so that you won't miss a note. Each song is harmonically dissected, opening up huge potentials in reharmonisation and substitution, as well as providing a solid guide for your own improvised melodies.
Explore six beautiful jazz standards and learn chord changes, voicings, embellishments and other essential tools to broaden your jazz vocabulary. Andy teaches both basic and complex versions of each song while recording it on the Yamaha Disklavier. As he replays the disk at half-speed, he gives a detailed explanation of the music. Andy's reharmonization (a different chordal structure under the melody) and contrafacts (a new melody composed over the original chord structure) for each tune complete this in-depth lesson from a master of improvisation.
About this title: This 1993 recording is a follow-up to an earlier duo session by Andy LaVerne and John Abercrombie, although they add bassist George Mraz and drummer Adam Nussbaum for this date. Following a rather upbeat, introspective arrangement of the standard "Beautiful Love," they stick to originals by either the pianist or the guitarist. LaVerne's "Mother of Pearl" is a shimmering post-bop work that is full of surprises, while "Opal" is a treasure of a different sort, prominently featuring Abercrombie's brittle-sounding electric guitar. Abercrombie's "Monk Like" has a quirky line much like its namesake might employ, and the unpredictable ballad "Farewell" serves as an appropriate conclusion to this enjoyable CD. ~ Ken Dryden, All Music Guide
Andy Kirk's Twelve Clouds of Joy was a top-notch Kansas City swing band that, by 1939, featured the pop vocals of Pha Terrell, the more blues-oriented singing of June Richmond, creative arrangements by Mary Lou Williams, and some excellent soloing from pianist Williams and Dick Wilson on tenor. Most memorable in this entry in Classics' "complete" Andy Kirk CD series are "Floyd's Guitar Blues" (an odd but pioneering electric guitar feature for Floyd Smith), "Wham" and "Scratching In the Gravel."